TRAINS will not travel through Stalybridge for long periods of March and April as major upgrade work takes place.
For 26 days, the tracks will remain quiet because of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.
Between Saturday, March 11 and Wednesday, April 5, all services between Manchester and Leeds will be diverted along the Calder Valley route, which goes through Rochdale, Halifax and Bradford.
It is all part of the multi-billion-pound project which will provide more frequent and faster trains, running on a cleaner, greener, and more reliable railway.
During the work, engineers will install more than two kilometres of new track and 23 new signals, upgrade 13 crossovers, and install new overhead line equipment.
Additional work will take place before and after the total closure, which will also affect travel times..
During the closure, rail-replacement buses will operate between Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield, Manchester Airport and Huddersfield via Stockport, and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.
Trains between Marsden and Leeds via Huddersfield will run as normal, calling at all intermediate stations.
Northern services between Southport or Wigan North Western and Stalybridge will instead operate from Manchester Victoria.
And there will be no TransPennine Express services through Stalybridge at all, with buses will running between Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield and Manchester Airport via Stockport.
Hannah Lomas, Industry Programme Director for Transpennine Route Upgrade, said: “These upgrades at Stalybridge will mark a significant milestone for the entire programme, bringing us one step closer to faster, greener and more reliable journeys across the North of England.
“We have worked closely with train operators on the route, Northern and TransPennine Express, to make sure that there is a robust plan in place to keep passengers on the move. There will be rail diversions and a mix of express and stopping rail replacement buses between Manchester and Huddersfield, so we’re asking passengers to plan ahead and check before travelling.”
Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, added: “These upgrade works are a vital step towards delivering faster, more reliable and sustainable services between Manchester and York.
“Whilst the engineering work takes place around Stalybridge there will be a number of changes to TransPennine Express services across our network – and we’d advise our customers to check carefully for the latest advice before they travel on our website www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/changes-to-train-times.
“Updates will also be available on our social media channels. Our teams across from across the industry will be on hand at stations to assist customers with their journeys.”